NPR funded by tax dollars? OMG!

With Sarah Palin calling for an end to federal money going to NPR, I thought it would be worth investigating just how much of the average American’s tax money actually goes to NPR. CBS news has an article with a bunch of facts and figures scattered through it. Teasing out the information, let’s start with a brief description of how the money flows: There is no direct government funding of NPR.

Tax time

So we went to H&R Block to get our taxes done. Yes, it costs money, but it takes them over an hour to handle my taxes. The infamous form 1116 had them scratching their heads and consulting the records for quite a while. (That was the one that nearly gave me a nervous breakdown the year I did the taxes myself—46 pages of instructions for that one form.) The verdict: A nice chunk of refund.

No taxation without representation!

Did the US tax return last night. Or rather, paid someone else to do it. I’d prepared spreadsheets with all the necessary data, translated all foreign currency figures to dollars, and had all the documentation in a folder. Nevertheless, it took a trained tax preparer at HR Block 70 minutes to sort out my federal and state tax returns. The final printout was about half a centimeter thick. This is why I don’t do it myself.